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Sweet CeCe's serves up tasty treats

February 6th, 2012 12:56 pm by Staff Report

Sweet CeCe's serves up tasty treats

Sweet CeCe's offers a daily selection of eight frozen yogurt flavors. The selection of flavors rotates every few days across a range of over 50 different flavors.

Kingsport’s first self-serve frozen yogurt shop, Sweet CeCe’s, recently opened in the Reedy Creek Terrace shopping complex on North Eastman Road.

Sweet CeCe’s originated in Franklin, Tenn., when Brian and CeCe Moore moved from California to start a new life in Tennessee. CeCe fell in love with the small town of Franklin, located outside of Nashville, and she and Brian opened their first self-serve yogurt store in 2008. The concept was so popular that today there are more than 40 stores in Tennessee, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mississippi, Kentucky and several other states.

Kingsport native Scott Butler became familiar with Sweet CeCe’s while working on his MBA at UT Chattanooga.

"I would go into Sweet CeCe’s in Chattanooga and Knoxville for frozen yogurt and really liked the self-serve, help yourself concept," Butler explained.

After finishing his MBA, Butler worked for a year as a Video/IT Intern with The University of Tennessee Knoxville football team and soon decided that career was not for him. While at UT, he started seriously exploring the possibility of introducing a Sweet CeCe’s to the Kingsport market in early 2011. He visited the Nashville location and talked with Sweet CeCe’s franchise management about placing a franchise in Kingsport.

"The day before my last day at UT, Sweet CeCe’s called me and said they wanted to meet and discuss a franchise location in Kingsport," Butler said. At age 28, Butler is one of the youngest owners in the Sweet CeCe’s franchise.

Sweet CeCe’s offers a daily selection of eight frozen yogurt flavors. The selection of flavors rotates every few days across a range of over 50 different flavors. While the flavors are numerous, there are non-fat, low-fat, no sugar added, and dairy-free options available everyday. "The yogurt is sold by weight so you can put as much or as little as you want in your cup," he said.

The cups are all one size and once you have chosen your flavor, you then move over to the toppings' silo where you will find 25 different toppings ranging from cereals to M&Ms. A separate "cold bar," with 20 more options, offers a large selection of fruits, cookie dough, brownies and nuts, plus three different sauces and whipped cream.

Butler said Sweet CeCe’s yogurt is thicker and creamier than other varieties. "That is because the machine we use is different and produces a thicker, more textured yogurt."

The décor is bright and cheery and the store is exceptionally clean. "Because the yogurt and toppings are so self-contained, it is easy to keep the store clean and provide our customers with a nice experience," he said.

When looking at the Sweet CeCe’s franchise, Butler said he was most impressed with the customer’s ability to control their own cost.

"Since we sell our product by weight, customers can control their own costs," he said. "Even with a slow economy, you can still come in here and get a nice treat and not spend a lot of money."

Butler is very community-oriented and is looking forward to giving back to his hometown.

"I’m not in this just to make a living, but I see this as a ministry and a way to give back to a town that supported me." Scott played football at Dobyns-Bennett and then at ETSU.

He is also open to customer comments. "We put out a suggestion box for customer feedback and also to see if they wanted new toppings or flavors added to the lineup. Someone suggested wet walnuts, so now we have them on the cold bar."

Even with a winter opening, response to Sweet CeCe’s has been great. The store is already booked for upcoming birthday parties and has already hosted a wedding shower. "Public response has been above expectation, particularly given the winter season. Our guests tell us we have a good, quality product and a clean store.

"I want our customers to have a great experience in a positive, friendly environment," he said.

Sweet CeCe’s is currently operating on a winter schedule through Feb. 29. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m., Sunday. The store will remain open an hour later Sunday through Thursday during summer hours.

For flavor updates and special promotions, visit Sweet CeCe’s Facebook page or call 423-230-0565.

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